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Undersized piglets

5461 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Brice
Just farrowed on Nov 30. York/Berk cross 2 year sow, second litter. She had 16 this time. 3 still births (large males 5lbs. plus). Two of the litter are very small (less than 2 lbs.) we lost one. The second one is hanging in there but after 5 days is only 3.5 lbs, about half the size of siblings. He tries to feed but seems to get tired out real soon. We are giving him bounce-back to try and boost his everything. Is there any thing we can do? I removed some of the others to increase his ability to eat without competition. We have 10 left, can't loose anymore. The iron shots, teeth cut and ear notching is done.
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Smaller piglets have a lower chance of survival. You might try bringing it inside so it can be warm and not bossed, then take it out for visitations to nurse. This can increase the odds of it getting to a size it can survive at and compete for nipples. If you have another sow farrow you might move a weak pig to the new sow so it is with piglets closer to its size.

You may lose it. There is generally a good reason such as congenital defects that piglets are born dead, die soon after birth or are small. Not everyone is perfect.

I would have skipped teeth cutting as it stresses them. We don't cut teeth, tails or castrate. All of these can stress and kill piglets. Ear notching too but less so.
What is teeth cutting?

And I hope the undersized piglet makes it.
What is teeth cutting?
Some folks clip the piglets teeth ... (we do not but others might)

I found a link for you...

Pigs are born with eight needle (sometimes called wolf) teeth located on the sides of the upper and lower jaws. Historically, needle teeth were clipped in newborn pigs to prevent potential damage to the sow underline and consequentially, a reluctance to allow nursing. Clipping needle teeth was also seen as a means for preventing injuries to the faces of littermates when fighting occurred (Becker, 1992).

Thanks for the input, we lost him, just could not hang in there. The survivors are doing great, we will try and farrow two at a time from no on, I can see where this would help with the runts.
Thanks for that information about cutting the teeth, Andi. Makes sense, but sounds as if it would be difficult to do. Does it usually take two people?

And Higgins sorry you lost your piglet.
Thanks for that information about cutting the teeth, Andi. Makes sense, but sounds as if it would be difficult to do. Does it usually take two people?
The last time we helped with clipping teeth and tails, we had 6 folks on hand. On a side note: That was the day, I said Mother Nature knows best ... and I would never do it again. (but that is just me. ;))
Thanks Brice, Mother Nature took over like always. The sow had 16 piglets, 3 still born, crushed two, and two runts. She has 12 teats to feed with, so it all worked out. We have one more runt holding her own, she looks like she will make it, beats up her ;larger siblings daily. In the future we will farrow two at the same time, this way we can move the strong into groups and keep the weaker ones together. Turns out we have two gilts coming into heat Dec 17 and 18, ordered the semen for AI so we should be good in April for some fair pigs.
We have tried not clipping the teeth as well, in our case the sow was better off with the wolf teeth clipped when we did. My wife and I do it together, one holds, one clips. I have seen one person do it before, work of art.. We just cut the whip off the tails, so the others don't bite them as much, again we tried it both ways and did better overall with the tails a little shorter. We notch the ears so we can single out a specific one if needed, they all look the same.... act differently, but look the same. The tails and ears get a blast of iodine to prevent infection... we keep a close eye on them for a few days anytime we do this. We castrate at 2 weeks, giving both nuts time to drop all the way. I was taught by the best, done in about 15 seconds with no tearing, tugging, excessive bleeding or hernia probability and a single 3/4" incision to heal.... and one person can do it. A blast of iodine on this as well.
What is teeth cutting?
Piglets are born with some needle like teeth, often called wolf teeth. In the confinement operations they clip these off. The problem is that can cause damage below the gum line if done wrong, infection, failure to thrive, stress and death.

We don't cut teeth. It is not necessary - we've raised thousands of piglets without doing it.

There is some research that suggests that the wolf teeth are good because they scratch the sow's udder and nipples causing her to give iron in her blood to the piglets. I can see the argument there but I can see the argument there but I don't see significant scratching so I'm not sure if I believe that or not.

The wolf teeth quickly wear down so I would not worry about them.
interesting seeing the different ways of doing things and reasons why.

Seems the outlook comes from pasturing the piglets or having them more confined.
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